Monday, August 12, 2019

Inherit the Wind (1960): Stanley Kramer Breaks Wind

I once loved Stanley Kramer's Inherit the Wind (1960).  Of course I did.  Hollywood has never produced a more entertaining courtroom drama.  The acting, the directing, the script, all of it is top-notch.  But, over the years, I have come to realize the sad truth: Inherit the Wind is the most dishonest historical film ever made.

John T. Scopes, the high school teacher at the center of the notorious Scopes Monkey Trial, was a fraud foisted upon the public by the American Civil Liberties Union, who was desperate to slap together a case that could effectively challenge Tennessee's Butler Act.  No one dragged Scopes out of a classroom for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution.  The fact is that Scopes never taught his students evolution.  The teacher admitted this bitter fact to a reporter, William Kinsey Hutchinson, once the trial had ended.  His lawyers had coached students to lie on the stand to corroborate a wholly invented scenario.  Student after student stated in open court that they had attended a lesson that never really occurred.

The film is tomfoolery designed to depict Christians as angry, insane fanatics.

Little about the film is true.

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